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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Original Production Animation Cels of Katrina Van Tassel and Ichabod Crane On A Key Matching Production Background From "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" Section of "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad," 1949


Original hand inked & hand painted production cels of Katrina Van Tassel and Ichabod Crane; Set on a key matching (To the Katrina Van Tassel cel) hand painted production background from "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" section of "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad," 1949; Production numbers bottom & left side of the background; Size - Katrina: 7 x 4 1/5", Ichabod Crane: 7 x 3", Background 11 3/4 x 14 1/4", Image 11 x 13"; Unframed.


"The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad," 1949 is an animated package film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The film consists of two segments – the first is based on the 1908 children's novel "The Wind in the Willows" by British author Kenneth Grahame, and the second is based on the 1820 short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," (named Ichabod Crane in the Disney film) by American author Washington Irving. The famed American singer and actor Bing Crosby provided the voice of Ichabod Crane, Brom Bones, and the Narrator.

The story takes place in October 1790 when Ichabod Crane, a lanky, gluttonous, superstitious yet charming man; arrives in Sleepy Hollow, New York. It's a small village north of Tarrytown and is renowned for its ghostly hauntings and Ichabod is to be the town's new schoolmaster. Despite his odd behavior and awkward appearance, he soon wins the hearts of the village's women. Brom Bones, the roughish town hero, does his best to bully Ichabod; however he is very good at ignoring Brom's taunts. Soon Ichabod falls in love with eighteen-year-old Katrina van Tassel, the beautiful daughter and only child of Baltus van Tassel who is the richest man in all of Sleepy Hollow. Brom, who is also in love with the beautiful Katrina, begins to compete with the schoolmaster for her affection. However, Ichabod succeeds in winning Katrina over at every opportunity. Unbeknownst to Ichabod, Katrina is only using him to make Brom jealous.


Original production animation cels of Ichabod Crane and Katrina Van Tassel without the background.

Both Brom and Ichabod are invited to the annual van Tassel Halloween party. While sitting down to dinner, Brom tells Ichabod and the party guests the ghost story of the Headless Horseman, who had lost his head a long time ago during the Revolutionary War. Ever since, on every Halloween night he rides into Sleepy Hollow looking for a new head. The only way to escape him is to cross the covered bridge, as the Headless Horseman's evil powers are limited to within the dark woods.


Original hand painted production background without the cels.

After the Halloween party ends, Ichabod rides home alone and keeps imagining that he is being followed. He hears strange sounds and then realizes that it's only cattails bumping against a log; Ichabod and his horse begin to hysterically laugh. But then suddenly both stop, as they realize that another laugh has joined them. As Ichabod and his horse slowly turn around, they find the Headless Horseman about to attack them with his sword. The Horseman begins to chase them, laughing all the while. Ichabod gallops for the bridge and barely manages to make it across. As Ichabod turns around, he screams as the Horseman's black horse rears up, and the Headless Horseman throws a flaming jack o' lantern right at him. The very next morning, Ichabod's hat was found next to a shattered pumpkin; however, Ichabod was never heard from again.

Katrina Van Tassel was animated by Ollie Johnston and Ward Kimball, and Ichabod Crane was animated by Ollie Johnston, Ward Kimball, and Frank Thomas. Katrina never speaks in the film and Ichabod was voiced by Bing Crosby. Katrina has a short song devoted to her (titled "Katrina") and it was sung by the narrator of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," Bing Crosby. The lyrics are below:

"Oo oo oo oo
Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah
Once you have met that little coquette Katrina
You won't forget Katrina
But nobody yet has ever upset Katrina
That cute coquette Katrina
You can do more with Margaret or Helena
Or Ann or Angelina
But Katrina will kiss and run
To her a romance is fun
With always another one to start
And then when you've met that little coquette Katrina
You've lost your heart"

This is a very rare and wonderful key set-up composed of an original production cel of Katrina Van Tassel on her matching original production background. The cel and background were used during her first appearance in the film when she flirts with the men of Sleepy Hollow and soon catches the attention of it's new schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane. A full figure original production cel of Ichabod Crane has been added to complete the setup. Key setups (an original production cel on it's matching production background) from vintage Disney films (1937-1959) are extremely rare; so this piece would make a great addition to any animation art collection!

To see these cels and the background in the film, just click on the short video below: